How Do You Tan in a Tanning Bed?

To tan in a tanning bed, remove your clothes, put on tanning lotion, get in the bed, and stay inside for six to 20 minutes, depending on your skin. When finished tanning, apply after-sun lotion to your skin.

  1. Remove your clothes

    Most people tan while nude or wearing a tiny swimsuit, so strip down to your comfort level.

  2. Apply tanning lotion

    Pour about an ounce of tanning lotion into your hand. Slather it all over your body for even tanning.

  3. Apply stickers

    If you want a sun tattoo, apply a sticker to your skin. The sticker needs to be applied to the same spot every time you tan for sharp lines to form.

  4. Put on goggles

    Put on protective eye goggles. Never tan without the goggles or with plain sunglasses, as this can damage your eyes.

  5. Get into the bed

    Lie down flat in the bed, and pull the bonnet over your body. Have a towel nearby in case you sweat, but do not allow it to cover any part of your skin as this causes a line.

  6. Start conservatively

    If it is your first time tanning, start with only six or seven minutes, especially if you have fair skin. Work up to 15 or 20 minutes over a span of two to three weeks. Never stay in a bed until you burn.

  7. Apply after-sun lotion

    After tanning, apply after-sun lotion generously over all the tanned areas.

  8. Wait 24 hours

    Wait at least 24 hours before tanning again, even if you are developing your base tan. If you are just maintaining color, it is only necessary to tan three times a week.